As we are already past the halfway mark of 2021, now is a good time to examine how the year has gone so far and what business trends we have noticed. Working from home (WFH) has become the norm for many, but what changes should we expect to stick around? Is increased automation or a shift to greater sustainability here to stay?
The last six months have revealed how important it is for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to plan ahead and prepare for further changes in the future, and we can learn more from Bartercard’s constructive ideas to produce better business results for 2022. Continue reading for some of the top business trends in 2021 so far.
A Continuation of Remote Working (WFH)
One of the most significant changes brought into play by the COVID-19 pandemic has been the widespread shift from working in a physical office to working remotely in our own space at home. Due to continuing trends both here and overseas, it doesn’t appear that we will be returning to our office full-time in the immediate future.
Working from home gives employees greater flexibility and, in many cases, improved productivity levels, meaning that WFH has proved popular with employees and employers alike. The trend will very likely continue to be a massive trend as we head towards 2022. However, many businesses have also adopted a hybrid model; a mixture of office-based work and working from home, giving employees the autonomy to choose to work where they feel they are the most productive.
Automation is the Key to Business Success in 2022
As we have established that WFH is here to stay in 2021 and beyond, there has never been a more important time for businesses to automate. Once seen as something to implement for the future, the pandemic has shown it should be top of mind for all businesses to remain relevant in today’s tricky business climate.
The good news is that today’s automation is relatively easy for all employees to use, regardless of their level of experience with it, and is also more accessible to businesses. Solutions such as automated payroll software and online chatbots are helping SMEs increase efficiency and dedicate their employees’ hours to more meaningful tasks. This necessary component will help us to survive in the new normal.
Ethical & Sustainable Business Practices Vital for the Future
Here at Bartercard, we have some ideas for integrating sustainability into your business strategies, with the realisation that “doing well by doing good” means that business today is not just about making a profit. We recommend that you create a mission statement to attract more interest from investors. This is an important part of becoming a more sustainable business and communicating your values to your customers. As we often say, a mission statement should help a business evolve with the market.
Time for Business Owners to Look Forward with Bartercard
So, as 2021 ticks on, we believe now is an optimal time for business owners to look forward and recognise which trends deserve long-term investment so that your business can take advantage of them. By adopting these trends to your SME, you can attract new customers, which is one of the main reasons that business owners join Bartercard each year.
The ability to adapt is one of the most important skills a business owner can have. Embracing change will prove to be an important habit in 2022, but if you’re not sure how to activate all these new trends, Bartercard’s handy e-book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Small Business Owners will help you to move your business forward.